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Post-game Reactions

On Tuesday, we poked fun at Sheed for accidentally tipping a rebound back into Boston’s basket against Chicago, saying the clip was the perfect representation of Sheed’s lost (regular) season. All fun and games.

But a play from about the 7:00 mark of the 2nd quarter in the same game is actually a better representation of what could have been this season had Rasheed Wallace’s three-point percentage not slipped from league average to disastrous:

Oh, for a big man who could shoot 35 percent from deep.

This is the play I’ve dubbed the Rugby Scrum play—a play the 2010 C’s debuted about halfway through the season in a game against Miami. The play is pretty simple: Two bigs run out together to set a double-screen on the guy guarding the point guard.

It’s a brutally simple play designed to give Rajon Rondo (or, here, Nate Robinson) a bunch of options. If the screen hits Robinson’s man cleanly (as it does here), Nate can try and turn the corner against the big men and get to the rim. Meanwhile, the two screeners can do a bunch of things. Ideally, one will roll to the hoop while the other pops out for a perimeter jumper.

That’s why you’ll almost always see either Sheed or KG involved as one of the screeners on this play—their jump-shooting gives the point guard a pick-and-pop option. Here’s a still as this play develops:

Nate has dribbled left around the Davis screen, but Baby’s man (Jo Noah) is in solid position to cut off Nate’s drive.

So Baby does what he’s supposed to do: he rolls to the rim. This forces Sheed’s guy (Taj Gibson, stationed at the foul line) to move into Baby’s path.

And who’s wide open for three? Sheed.

Here’s my point: This play is made for Sheed. It cries out for a big man who can shoot the three. It can work with KG shooting a 20-footer, but imagine how much better it could work with a big man who could hit 35 percent of his three-point attempts?

That’s what the Celtics thought they were getting when they signed Sheed to a three-year deal.

Instead, Sheed is shooting 28 percent from deep and having one of the NBA’s all-time worst three-point shooting seasons.

Note: I’m not making Sheed the scapegoat for what has been a disappointing regular season. His performance is just one of dozens of reasons big and small the C’s weren’t the 55- or 60-win juggernaut we expected.

In other news: The playoffs start this weekend. The Celtics record is 0-0.

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Zach Lowe

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  • DRJ1

    I can’t remember a SINGLE time when Sheed hit a 3 while under pressure. Not one, in the whole season.

    Unfortunately, this doesn’t bode well at all for the playoffs, where the pressure is bound to be worse. For Sheed to step up his game now as we all hope, and as he’s promised, it will have to be in the context of him posting up most of the time, and shooting only wide open 3s.

  • Jay P

    @DRJ1

    Um, well since the all-star break he pretty much has only been shooting wide-open threes. And he still misses, a lot.

    Maybe there are some exceptions, but most of the time if he pops a 3, it’s pretty wide open, at least from what I’ve seen.

    Anyway, I still have no problem with Sheed taking the wide open shots like that.

    Let me say this, I hate Sheed, I hate him more than ALMOST any Celtic I’ve ever hated, ever. Yes, more than Vin Baker.

    But, Doc keeps talking about these guys who “will win a playoff game for us” like Nate. I think we’re going to see that from Sheed too. There’s going to be one or two games where he gets hot, hits a couple threes, and teams start guarding him again, and he changes the whole game.

    If I’m wrong, I’m wrong, Sheed’s not going to play enough minutes to hurt us severely anyway, and we still get through a 7-game series on the backs of the starters, so its a moot point.

    But keep taking those shots, he gets enough open looks now because lets face… teams just don’t cover him. And if I’m right and he gets hot, it will win a game for us, and maybe even change a whole series.

  • Cptn Bubbles

    If Sheed continues to be slow & lazy on D then Doc is gonna have to man up & put Glen or Shelden in because they will at least hustle & try hard. You can’t have Sheed out there slacking & expect everyone else to play really hard. By sitting Sheed Doc will be sending a message which is more important than anything Sheed would half-heartedly be doing on the court. If Sheed brings it then great! But if Sheed is no different than the regular season then put Glen & Shelden in. They will at least run & try hard.

  • hallik

    Question:
    I think a while back there was interest in ‘Sheed from the Bobcats? Can we trade him at the end of the season?

  • hallik

    Should KG Retire?

  • Jason

    Instead of Sheed being an active participant in this play while Ray twiddles his thumbs on the perimeter, why not switch them? Let Sheed stand in the corner (he’s drawing his man and available for a corner 3) and have Ray pop. If Ray’s man sags, that’s either a 2 defending a 4 in the paint or an open 3 for the second leading 3 point shooter in NBA history.

  • @hallik: Yes, Bobs were reportedly interested–reportedly. If the C’s can unload sheed, they will.

  • Dan

    @JayP: Never say never, even Marbury won a playoff game for the C’s. That said, I’d be amazed if Nate makes any contribution and almost as much so for Sheed.

  • Jason

    “in the first round, when the home-court team has won the regular-season series, it also has won the playoff series 41 straight times.”

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/playoffs/2010/insider/columns/story?columnist=hollinger_john&page=PERDiem-100415

    The C’s better damn win then.

  • mike

    I predicted at the outset that the Rashweed trade would be a dud, and I’m deeply unhappy to have been right. To his credit, he hasn’t been toxic, merely ineffective.